Sarah Jarvis

2005 Finalist – Social Category
Age: 67
Hometown: Moss Beach, CA
Nominated by: Thao Nguyen, colleage

In 1995, Sarah Jarvis established Rape Trauma Services (www.rapetraumaservices.org) in San Mateo County, California, to help respond to and prevent sexual violence. Under her leadership, RTS has become a respected community resource to which the county looks for providing comprehensive victim services, expertise in trauma and healing, and violence prevention.

Jarvis' involvement in the anti-sexual assault movement dates back more than 30 years. In the mid 1970s, she volunteered as a counselor and advocate at one of the first rape crisis centers in the nation, Seattle Rape Relief. Her desire for a deeper understanding of human cruelty drew her to this work, particularly so that she could better understand the root causes of sexual violence and help victims.

In 2005, RTS recognizes its 10th anniversary, with the impact of Jarvis' work having reached far beyond the boundaries of San Mateo County. Her influence has created waves of change at local, statewide, national and even international levels. In the State of California, for example, Jarvis was a catalyst for creating critical laws that ensure victims have a sexual assault counselor present during medical and legal procedures, to not be forced to report or testify, and to be treated with dignity, respect and sensitivity. Rape crisis centers throughout the country today use the guidelines Jarvis set forth in her booklet, "You Can Heal From Rape," as a tool to help survivors in their healing.

Jarvis is an inspiration, showing what one determined woman can do to protect those who sometimes can't protect themselves.

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